For anyone in the MD/PhD program right now or understands the admissions process really well... Will the rigor and depth of the courses an applicant takes be considered? Or are top grades more important? I can see how an admissions committee would want to see an applicant who knows her limits and has the ability to do well in all of her classes, but what about the applicant who is driven to challenge herself with the toughest classes even if it risks (and results in) lower grades? I chose to take a really intense schedule of multiple upper-level science courses consistently, but my grades have suffered as a result (to lower than 3.4 but higher than 3.2). Are there so many applicants with perfect grades in hard classes that my chances are nil? Also, what is the recommended number of letters of recommendation? I've gotten 3 letters from science professors from my classes, 1 from my research mentor, and 1 from a previous boss in a non-science summer internship. I know that at least 1 from the science profs and the 1 from my mentor and boss will be very strong. I'm wondering whether I should obtain another one from a humanities professor and whether having more "just good but not absolutely amazing" letters is worse than having a few "absolutely amazing" letters. Also is it a general rule to obtain letters only from those familiar with your post-secondary school work? I was almost considering also getting a letter from a high school teacher who knew me very well. Last question... while my gpa is below avg, my mcat score is right at avg (for md schools). I am planning to take the mcat's again this aug, so that I can submit much better scores to those schools that offer me an interview. I'm pretty sure that the reason I got a lower score last time was because I took it early (summer after 2nd year) while holding down a job with extra long hours. Does this seem viable? Would it be better to get a rec letter from my boss at that job who can attest to all my hardwork that summer? I know it looks bad that it seems I abandoned the mcats just for some summer job. Thanks so much in advance for any advice!